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Australia getting R18+ rating for games

Australia's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General has approved a new R18+ rating classification for video games.


It looks like Australia will finally be able to sell games that aren't quite tame enough to fall within the purview of its 15+ age rating. Last month, the representatives from eight of Australia's nine territories, comprising the country's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, voted to approve an R18+ rating. The one hold-out, New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith, abstained from the vote, thus preventing the measure from passing. Such measures require unanimous consent.

Australian Minister for Justice Brendan O'Connor announced today that the New South Wales Attorney-General has since given "in-principle support" for the new rating, allowing the process to move forward.

The new Australian R18+ rating will be the equivalent of the ESRB's "M" rating in the United States, or "PEGI 18" in Europe.

"I am delighted that NSW has decided to support what is not just a practical public policy, but a very popular policy," O'Connor said. "Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults."

According to Joystiq, "draft guidelines presented at the prior meeting have since been amended, requiring approvals from some jurisdiction's cabinets," and the Australian government is moving forward to implement the new rating.

Sounds like it won't be long before gamers from the land down-under can start enjoying games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Mortal Kombat, two titles that were effectively banned in Australia because they were denied classification under the previous rating limitations. Australia later received an officially censored version of Left 4 Dead 2 that complied with the 15+ rating, but it's nice to know that future titles likely won't have to make such concessions.

[Editor's Note: This post has been edited to reflect the fact that an edited version of Left 4 Dead 2 was eventually released in Australia.]

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 10, 2011 1:45 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Australia getting R18+ rating for games.

    Australia's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General has approved a new R18+ rating classification for video games.

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 1:52 PM

      It's about time them Australians didn't get such a harsh deal on cut content.

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      August 10, 2011 2:42 PM

      Finally they will be able to buy normal games. Too bad they will probably be over priced. COD is like $100+ there for the regular edition.

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        August 11, 2011 4:14 AM

        Yeah lets face it Gran Turismo 5 is still selling at it's full retai price of $119.95.

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      August 10, 2011 2:48 PM

      Isn't this one of the signs of the Apocalypse? A government making a sensible decision.

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      August 10, 2011 2:57 PM

      about time, its been a long hard fight for many of the gaming communities here to bring sense to this debate.

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      August 10, 2011 3:15 PM

      L4D2 sale pls.

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      August 10, 2011 3:19 PM

      all signs seem to be that this will largely just replace MA15+ ratings, making currently available material harder to obtain for younger gamers and most legitimate adult content will still be refused classification

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        August 10, 2011 4:12 PM

        Wrong. Yes, some games that would have previously got an MA15+ rating my now get an R18+ rating, but the R18+ rating is in sync with R18+ movies, which basically allows anything other than real sex and some other small specifics. South Australia however, will be labelling ALL MA15+ games as R18+, regardless of what the federal ratings board give it.

        We'll be fine.

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      August 10, 2011 4:12 PM

      L4D2 was censored not banned.

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        August 10, 2011 4:46 PM

        May as well have been banned.

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        August 10, 2011 7:20 PM

        My daughter, and all her friends bought L4D2 from NZ Steam using a simple tick in a box "do you reside in this country " and if anyone wanted Mortal Kombat, well, there are no import bans in place.
        Stupid law is stupid.
        About time is all I can say!

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 6:15 PM

      Welcome to 1994! Sorry, someone had to say it. Congrats!

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